The Life Unlived

I attended a hot yoga class a few weeks ago, and aside from it being a sweaty experience, it turned out to be quite thought-provoking. The instructor said something at the end of the class that kind of intrigued me; so much so that I actually think I can quote her word for word:

“We all have two lives. The life we are living, and the life unlived. Between that, is resistance.”

For the rest of the day, I’ve been thinking about what she meant by that “second life” and what mine would look like. How would I live it and why isn’t it lived? By nightfall, I simply figured that perhaps my unlived life are all the experiences I haven’t experienced yet – both the good and bad. But then I was still bothered, because that doesn’t resolve the second part of that quote. Resistance. Maybe I still wasn’t getting the point. Until recently…

I’ve been thinking a lot about self-awareness, and I came to the realization that the hardest person to impress is ourselves. That’s because we know our thoughts and we hear the excuses in our heads. We fall short of our own expectations. Perhaps even expectations to stop living up to other people’s image of us. We’re constantly failing ourselves on a daily basis and the self-betrayal inside can be so overbearing.

I have very strong life values and work ethics that I expect myself to live up to at any moment. Words like “kindness, generosity, family and perseverance” are those that I hold very dear. I keep myself accountable to live a life that reflects these values, but apparently, I haven’t been doing it well enough to feel proud.

Have you ever watched one of those highly motivational videos, urging you to push against your limits, and after watching, you go, “Yeah! I want to live like that!“. But afterwards, you fall right back into your habit of not even trying? There are very few moments in my life where I can look back and honestly say that I gave it my all. And because of that, these is always a slight disappointment lingering, knowing that I could have tried harder. I should have tried harder.

This is the “resistance” between my current life and my unlived life. I need to somehow fight against the resistance and start living that second life – the life that stays true to everything I believe in. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be everything I choose to be.

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